We are nearing close to those 2021 resolutions (and those of you who read my last blog post, know how a resolution is not necessarily a great idea).
Nonetheless, activity levels may be of a focus and concern for you after the 2020 we have had, but does starting an exercise regime mean we have to be in the gym for over an hour a day, every single day...The simple answer is NO.
Of course this will differ from person to person regards to their individual goals and dreams that drive them forward, but those of you are simply wanting to create a baseline of activity that is easy and sustainable for longer term health and commitments, there is a minimal effective dose that is great to establish.
Taking regular exercise is essential to maintaining a good level of all around health, we can be healthy at any size, if you are physically able to move and be active in some way, then you are 'healthy'.
Having six pack abs, tiny waist and a low body fat percentage is not the true meaning of health. And this is where the industry is a little upside down with the messaging it puts out, often making many of us feel pretty crap about ourselves if we aren't in their size 8-12, lean body mass range as a female. And guys feel it too! It isn't just us ladies suffering with the societal expectation BS.
So how much exercise realistically do you need for this minimally effective dose?
Just like Tesco's - every little counts!
Drs. Eijsvogels and Thompson reviewed several published studies and concluded that as little as 15 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise — and only 8 minutes a day of vigorous-intensity exercise — reduced the risk of death. This was referred to by them as the minimally effective dose.
Even the smallest amount of exercise has substantial benefits to our health compared to being completely sedentary. And this is where so many of us go wrong. In order to become healthy, we believe that exercise needs to take a lot of our time, when this simply is not true. Whether it is an extra 10 minutes walk a day on our lunch break, doing 10 mins of a mini HIIT circuit at home or going to the gym for 15-20 minutes on a spin bike/cross trainer or stair master...these consistent small chunks eventually add up. However - the key here is consistency!
But reframing the fact that exercise does not have to take significant chunks out of our days, especially when new to exercise output, is the best way to begin, and start something that is sustainable for the longer term. It is why many of us will fail on a resolution or epic health kick, as we try to do ALL THE THINGS in one go, to the max and that my friend is not a great way to build sustainable habits for the long term goal we have in mind.
Of course, exercising beyond the minimally effective doses stated above, does have further health benefits. For every additional 15 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, there was a further 4% reduction in the risk of death. The greatest benefit was seen in people who exercised for an average of 63 to 88 minutes a day, however real world scenarios, for many this may not be achievable right now.
Once you start to build your new minimally effective dose habits, from both personal and client experience, your joy and pleasure of exercise also increases as you move towards your goals. For many this results in wanting to make and spend more time exercising as they do thoroughly enjoy this time and utilise it as a means for personal development, learning new skills, de-stressing from other external factors, enjoying getting an epic sweat on and challenging themselves in a more physical way or a way mentally they may not be stimulated when at work for example.
Starting your Minimally effective dose?
You do not have to throw yourself from couch to Ironman athlete level in order to achieve the health benefits from physical activity. Even small amounts of exercise and modest increases in fitness can make a clear difference, and some exercise is always better than no exercise.
For me - my daily Minimal effective dose is 10k steps per day and I track this using my FitBit (Charge 4), there are so many devices out on the market now and even most phones will track steps when in your pockets.
Set yourself a small target for the week - 10 mins extra every other day, gradually increase the time/distance or the number of days. Also think about the places you would love to visit in your local area and take the time (where applicable with Covid 19) to head in to any green spaces and really tune in to the environment, take some pictures and clear your mind.
We all have to start somewhere, however that somewhere isn't as hard as you might think!
P.S: If you are keen to work on the mindset around health, eating and exercise and would like accountability, Team Supreme is now offering a Bronze level package to be coached not only around around fitness and nourishing your body, IMPORTANTLY about your mindset around your beliefs, behaviours and eating to ensure we rewire some of the most common things standing in your way.....YOU!!!
Ready to join the team - Click here to express interest
P.P.S: Don't forget also - 20th January @ 7.30pm (GMT) is my next free workshop on 5 steps to overcoming binge and emotional eating. Click here to register.
- Become your own Supreme Minority -